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Sunday

Fish and Bread for Breakfast

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Fish and Bread for Breakfast

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And he does

Jesus loves you

Grumpy we might be

Though post-resurrection letdown

A haze of liturgy

Formal words that don’t match up

With Easter

But here we are

Since the book is ours

Invited to have breakfast with Jesus

Fish and bread

Common enough fare

Or not

The English

And others I’m sure

Have kippers

That is herring

England is an island nation

Israel is by the sea

And by an inland sea

We’re having breakfast

And hearing about metaphoric sheep

From a shepherd who knows the work

Perfectly

And is calling us to do it

What

How can we take from perfection

Well, we can’t

But we’re all here

It’s what and whom we have

We can dine with Jesus

That is the Christian church experience

But then we have to be out there

Out here

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A message from white men

We need to hear from everyone

We need to hear the story

From the lips

And other parts

The parts that move,

That dance,

That look and try to look with love

On a good day

While struggling on another

This can’t be a message of perfection

It has to be real

And what do we know of perfect

That is real?

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And we are loved, anyway

And we must love

And it’s the best thing going, anyway

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C L Couch

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(church with preaching on John 21)

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Photo by Andrew Valdivia on Unsplash

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Virtually a Sunday

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Virtually a Sunday

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I pulled on a shirt for church

Only to have technology

Fail me

Or I fail it, more likely

Virtual church

I should walk down the street

Through wide doors

Greet people

Sit down upon the wooden and worn

Bench

Await the start of something formal

Or walk

And keep walking

Chill and sunshine

And have church that way

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Pray as I go

There are things I want

To pray for:

My brother’s health

Cancer

My nephew’s healing

COVID

My neighbor’s heart condition

Another neighbor’s children

COVID in the world

(cancer, too)

The horrid war in Ukraine

War in other places

Where it’s horrid

(always horrid)

Yemen, Myanmar, Sudan

Or violence undeclared

Peace thwarted

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For food for everyone

Safe water

Safe living

I guess I can pray all these things

While walking

Pausing for crosswalks

Maybe I prayed for them now

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C L Couch

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Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

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Not Unusual Sunday

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Not Unusual Sunday

(which is to say, ordinary time)

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Lord, help me

To be ordinary today

To be faithful

In the usual way

To go to church

Think churchy thoughts after

For a while

To play a little

Finish my homework

Get ready for tomorrow

Monday,

You know

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C L Couch

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Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

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On the First Day

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On the First Day

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It’s Sunday

The day Al Roker

Announces in

An echo chamber

I’m not sure why

Maybe his mother

Told him to

Maybe because

It’s game day

I’ll have church

In a little while

Service and Sunday

School in a virtual

(and, yes,

hopefully virtuous)

Way

And the day will continue

We’re expecting snow

In the afternoon,

Over night into

Monday morning,

Which could make

The commute

A mess

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C L Couch

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Photo by alexey turenkov on Unsplash

Published 1h ago

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Chaotica

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Chaotica

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Lord,

It’s a good day

For normal praying

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In churches everywhere

There will be choruses

That say it right

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But my prayer

Is cacophony,

Nothing regular

Or regularly rhythmed out

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I hope you will forgive that,

All the off-pitch, off-key

Murmuring,

Uneven humming through

The perfect angel-layering

Of formal prayers

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But I need you;

I need your company

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You could simply sit close by,

And maybe we’d say nothing

To each other

And somehow know

Eternity is hearing

Everything as it should

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Everything that’s needed

To respond just right

To an uneven,

Lopsided,

Person praying badly

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Out of place

In whatever place

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C L Couch

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Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

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Apologies

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Apologies

(and Philippians 4:8)

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Oh, dear, it’s Sunday

And there’s nothing in my

Sometimes Protestant, suburban mind

To share

I didn’t pay attention to the sermon

(too many points)

Or the meaning of the lyrics

(one broad and unconvincing point),

Though I’ll say the problem

Is inside my head,

What’s left of my heart

And there are those who had their

Sabbath, starting Friday,

And those who have a time for

Sabbath every day

I could envy

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And is there something I can say?

Think on these things

With the Philippians,

Which might be a good list

For anyone

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C L Couch

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Photo by Dariusz Mejer on Unsplash

Babylon, United States

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Tell the Beadle

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Tell the Beadle

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I had church today with friends

Five hundred miles from here,

And I am thankful

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I’m not sure what it means or

How it counts, and I guess mostly

I don’t care

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There was prayer and conversation,

And God was mentioned many

Times and Jesus

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I think if there were an attendance

Book, our names could be

Fairly entered

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As it is, computers have recorded

In theirs pathways our participation so

Cybernetic stars

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C L Couch

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Sayq, Ad Dakhiliyah ‍Governorate, Oman

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Frozen Yellow Rose

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Frozen Yellow Rose

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Is this a prose-poem or an essay or a Sunday homily (the text would be the Good Samaritan)?  I don’t know, but here it is.  Something I heard at church from those who were there.  I mean, were there in Houston.

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here’s what happened in Houston (Texas, USA) yesterday:

most homes do not have fireplaces and instead rely on electricity to power furnaces for heat and appliances for cooking and computers, but the power grid is out, it’s blank in Houston;

in grills or in makeshift places, Duralogs were burned and any wood that could be found or any charcoal left from summer or, indeed in a deep Southern place, the last time there was a barbecue;

the feeling was post-apocalyptic

there was a certain grocery store that powered up enough generators to preserve food and to allow people inside safely, though the numbers who could enter at a time were severely limited (because there is a pandemic raging ‘round the world and through Houston); this meant that there were thousands outside the store in line, waiting for their turn;

keep in mind it’s extra winter there just now, the temperature having gone into the teens during the day;

the manager of this grocery store or maybe it was the owner, walked up and down the line outside and said to folks, if you can’t pay for your groceries just now, don’t worry—get what your family needs, bread and baby food and such;

according to those who were there, this kind of thing was happening all over the city

coda

this does not account or provide sustenance for those assailed by the crisis of collapsing glacial ice in India that has stolen the lives of scores of people; this does not take care of COVID-19 or provide vaccine, something that the world sorely needs; this does not answer all the problems and frankly all the disasters that we suffer with here and there on planet Earth; it is a single story, and maybe we could let it have the power of a single story, which like creation stories or apocalypses or “The Gift of the Magi” or “The Artist of the Beautiful,” can be, well, pretty powerful

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C L Couch

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Power Failure: How a Winter Storm Pushed Texas into Crisis

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Power-failure-How-a-winter-storm-pushed-Texas-15967411.php

Around 2 a.m. Monday, the full measure of the crisis Texas faced began to be apparent. Cold and ice had set in the day before, leading to spreading power outages across the state.

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Photo by Vlad Busuioc on Unsplash

Downtown, Houston, Texas, United States

drone view of a city

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The Book of Numbers

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The Book of Numbers

(in pandemic time)

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Lots of twos and ones

Tomorrow

And a zero,

And there could be church:

I think I’d cherish

Learning someone else’s

Story

If in a cyber way

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To understand

How a narrative fits

Into the weaving,

The puzzle

Of the one great story

In which we each

Have a page

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Monochrome

Or colorful

Burnt along the edges,

Gilded for the saints

After all the torn-up

Parts have been

Repaired

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Not a book of judgment

Not a cache of

Clever evidence;

Rather the story of us

In part

And all the rest of us

And God inside, above

With tired angels

Tirelessly binding

Fixing binding

All the time

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C L Couch

(for 2/21/2021)

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Photo by Paulius Dragunas on Unsplash

Antelope Canyon, United States

Ladder to Nowhere

(reasonable skeptic)

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